How speech analytics can build the contact centre of the future

When COVID-19 lockdown was first imposed in the UK in March 2020, contact centres faced a daunting challenge

The closure of physical retail and office spaces triggered a major increase in remote communication, putting call handlers at the forefront of businesses’ operational response.

This growth in call volumes has pushed the limits of what can be achieved through traditional models – prompting many businesses to seek new, tech-driven solutions which enable them to provide more efficient and effective service to a greater number of customers.

Speech analytics is one example of a technology which is enabling businesses to reach new heights of productivity. This technology can help companies read their customers’ minds – showing them what they really think about your services, whether they are likely to do business with you again and what they really think about your performance.

Applying speech analytics technology to business processes can help understand the voice of the customer and generate actionable insights from it. This is of upmost importance to contact centres in particular, which have always been an essential part of the customer experience, and continue to be an essential bridge between businesses and customers when they have questions, concerns or complaints.

However, analytics technologies are not new. In fact, most large and some medium-sized contact centres already have some form of speech analytics platform in place. But these platforms require skilled and experienced analysts to truly maximise outputs as many companies have found them less intuitive and flexible than they had hoped. The value they are gaining from them is often limited and ignores other interaction channels, such as webchat and email.

There are five ways in which speech analytics can be put to use across contact centres. Firstly, speech analytics can pinpoint opportunities for operational efficiencies such as reduced call volumes by driving traffic to lower-cost channels or delivering business change to eliminate the contact in its entirety. They can also shorten average handle times by simplifying tasks and processes that agents have to perform during interactions and improve first contact resolution, identifying common causes for call-back and follow-ups.

Secondly, this technology can provide assurance around quality and compliance. Instead of relying on time-consuming manual call listening, speech analytics can examine 100% of interactions and report with certainty on compliance levels – allowing contact centre managers to take prompt action in the event of a breach. Contact centre managers can also improve monitoring of team performance by automating their quality framework and offer targeted coaching to those that need it, as well as understanding whether employees are recognising and responding appropriately to vulnerable customers.

Some employees are far more effective when it comes to revenue generation. Analytics can help contact centre managers identify the techniques and offers that have the most success so they can transfer skills to the entire team and teach advisors how to recognise opportunities to cross-sell and upsell.

Tools like Net Promoter Score (NPS) and customer satisfaction surveys provide a measure of the customer experience, but they don’t always explain what’s causing high – or low – scores. Speech analytics will help contact centres understand the drivers of NPS or CSat scores, so they can take action. It also delivers a more consistent customer experience by identifying recurring problems and improving advisor training, particularly around soft skills such as empathy.

Finally, speech analytics can improve fraud detection and minimise losses by identifying when callers are using language that is often associated with fraudulent activity. The technology alerts the back office fraud teams at the first opportunity to raise cases for investigation to help mitigate the risk of a potential losses from fraud.

Using qualified, competent analysts and an omnichannel speech analytics platform can be a powerful ally in helping contact centres get insights quickly. Since it monitors and reports on all conversations, it automatically takes the raw data, organizes and analyses it and generates insights based on what companies want to track. When this information is applied, it can result in dramatic improvements in contact centre efficiency, agent productivity, customer satisfaction, and reduce costs as well as both agent and customer churn. All of which are essential to driving customer satisfaction and increasing revenue and profits for the business.


About the Author

Lee Mostari is Director of Insights & Analytics at Davies Consulting. Davies Consulting delivers specialist customer experience (CX), Operational Consulting and Digital Transformation expertise to bring sought after outcomes for clients operating across a range of highly regulated and international markets.

Featured image: ©Korobova

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